I will avoid Leica NJ from here on...
Old 07-11-2017   #1
sepiareverb
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I will avoid Leica NJ from here on...

I understand this is a first world problem, but one that some here might also needlessly suffer through, so I post this in hopes that everyone else who might consider this type of thing has a smoother go of it.

I have had a black chrome MP al a carte that I got second hand many years ago from a member here. A lovely camera, but it had the full engraving top-plate which I've had comments on from people while out shooting, that I don't get with another MP with no engraving, so I often wondered about having it changed. When the 'Re-Design" program came about I thought more about this. Decided I would really like to have the camera get the MA top-plate, with no engraving, but black chrome, my preferred finish. A regular factory part, so likely easy I though. I could re-use all the other parts from the camera, and have the red infill paint on the shutter speed dial replaced with the yellow/orange like on an M6/7 as I have a hard time seeing the red. Might as well get the Monochrom type vulcanite since the vulcanite has to be changed anyway.

My timeline follows. Note that I had a Logic Board failure of my MacBook Pro during this process, so not all emails are included below.

Email to a contact at Leica NJ 7/21/16 no reply.

Email to same contact at Leica NJ 8/15 no reply

Email to a contact of a friend at Leica Solms 9/3 on vacation auto reply.

she replied 9/19.

I replied to her 9/19 asking her to get in touch w/NJ & she replied saying she would have NJ contact me.

Leica NJ finally emails me 9/19

I Replied 9/19 with further details, they returned my email the same day.

Camera shipped 9/22/16 to NJ (two months after contacting NJ myself, three days after having Solms contact NJ)

Camera arrived in NJ 9/26

Phone call from NJ, entering camera into system 10/5, needed street address ( I use a P.O. Box for most correspondence and shipping) I gave them my street address.

11/4/16: Phone call from NJ, estimate sent was wrong, top cover price was quoted at 10% of actual cost, amended estimate being sent.

11/5 I approved the updated estimate.

12/15 checked NJ about a return date via email. "Techs are gone for the day but I will check tomorrow and get back to you." No further reply.

Gap in my email record due to Logic Board failure.

2/3/17 Camera arrives back - with wrong covering and red infill paint. I was told the M6/7 yellow/orange infill paint on the shutter speed dial was a special order item in the original estimate, and I agreed to pay for it. The camera came back with the shutter speed dial unchanged from when I sent it in. It also came with MP type covering, not the covering as used on the M9/Monochrom I had requested and paid for.

2/7 email to Beth - re problems with paint and covering

3/18/17 Camera ships back to NJ for correct paint and covering.

5/30/17 spoke w/ NJ. Got new work # 10042543 should hear back about the paint at the end of the week.

6/8/17 left voicemail with NJ about eta on the paint.

6/12/17 no reply to 6/8 call - emailed about eta on the paint.

6/16/17 No reply to email. - called. Paint is in Germany. Tech is going to Germany and will bring it back with him, paint the camera, let the paint dry and then ship it here. Should be 2 ˝ weeks.

6/28/17 Called. Camera will ship tomorrow, the paint is drying now.

7/5/17 Called at 1:50. System is down nothing can be looked up. Might be on the ship cart now. Called back at 3:15, left a voicemail. Called back at 4:14. No tracking info available, everyone is gone for the day. Person I spoke to (the only one who genuinely seems to try) will check first thing tomorrow and call me back.

7/6/17 Called. Camera will ship Monday. Did not know why, it was something to do with the paint.

7/10/17 Called at 10:30. “Yes, it will ship today.”

7/10/17 Got an email at 2:30 - a tracking number!

7/11/17 The camera arrives home via UPS, finally as I had ordered it to be.

My advice, and my practice from here on is to send my equipment directly to Wetzlar for any work required that DAG, Sherry or Gerry Smith cannot do. I have had enough of NJ. The worst possible customer service imaginable.
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Last edited by sepiareverb : 07-16-2017 at 10:27. Reason: Wetzlar, not Solms.
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Old 07-11-2017   #2
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Sorry to hear about your experience. My experiences with them have been good.

Just curious. What were the nature of the comments about the top script on your camera? I've never had any comments on my Leicas. However, the unmetered ones have an MR-4 meter on top, blocking the script. My M7 has a plain top.
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Old 07-11-2017   #3
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Just people saying "Oh, that's a Leica?" and turning their observation into a conversation when I want to be left alone. I don't make pictures of people, and generally keep to myself, so the engagement is an intrusion. I don't get anywhere near the same number of interruptions when shooting with other M bodies. The Rollei also gets comments, but usually only looks and nods instead of attempts at some long, drawn out conversation. I don't like to be rude, but I really hate getting pestered. I generally have ended up being ruder than I want to be to get away and back to work. No more!
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Old 07-11-2017   #4
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oh geez, let's hope the new top cover actually attracts less attention.
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Old 07-11-2017   #5
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Repair places are always just one lost screw from going completely under. I've found that communicating with just one person helps the most, that way you don't get the issues where the person you talked to today has no idea how to tell the person you'll talk to tomorrow what your request was.

I sent my R lens to Leica NJ because it's likely the only place in the US that would have the parts for it. I originally talked to Sandra, but since then have only used e-mail as I find it hard to understand her over the phone (my problem, not hers). Always a quick reply, and they had an estimate back to me within a couple of days after they received the lens.

Sure, it's taken a while for them to get around to it, but then maybe they had to send out for parts. I'm not worried, or in a rush for it. I've plenty of other cameras to keep me busy.

It might have been good for you, Bob, to have been able to talk to one of the techs that would be doing the work, so that they would understand exactly what it was you wanted done, and to find out if it was feasible. The front desk folks can always promise things, but then the workers get the order, and things start hitting the fan.

I once had a guy come running from across a field because he thought I had a Leica, only to find out it was a Zorki. If the light is good, I usually will engage them in some conversation about the merits of whatever camera I am using. But if the light's shifting a bit, or the subject is on the move, I'll just take photos until they get the hint that I've got other things on my mind.

Good luck with your camera remodeling.

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Old 07-11-2017   #6
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Sorry to hear about it. I had plenty of good experiences with various camera repairers and a horrendous one with a reputable repairer (not Leica NJ) and that was enough for me to make me suspicious each time I sent a camera for repair. It is easy sometimes to overlook the important job these people do..
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Old 07-12-2017   #7
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That's some of the slowest service I've heard of. I hope you were able to get a tremendous discount for your trouble.
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Old 07-12-2017   #8
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Is NJ the only factory repair place in America? If so, how many Leicas do you think are up for repair on any given day? Of those the purchased new and under warrantee would probably take precedence over cosmetic mods to a used piece I would think. That said, the communication could have been better.
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Old 07-12-2017   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sepiareverb View Post
Just people saying "Oh, that's a Leica?" and turning their observation into a conversation when I want to be left alone. I don't make pictures of people, and generally keep to myself, so the engagement is an intrusion. I don't get anywhere near the same number of interruptions when shooting with other M bodies. The Rollei also gets comments, but usually only looks and nods instead of attempts at some long, drawn out conversation. I don't like to be rude, but I really hate getting pestered. I generally have ended up being ruder than I want to be to get away and back to work. No more!
Once they discover the change you made you're in for a whole other conversation!
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Old 07-12-2017   #10
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Sent a Leica Q to NJ for service, they quoted 3 weeks, it took 7 months. And this was with one of their top dealers pushing them. One would think dealer leverage would make a difference, but it doesn't. I could never shoot with Leica professionally as it would require too much cash outlay for spare bodies in the event of a needed repair.

Leica has spent money on a fancy HQ but hasn't put any effort into updating their poor service turnaround. For a premium brand this is unfortunate.
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Old 07-12-2017   #11
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Yeah, I had a bad experience with NJ myself. loose 28mm elmarit, 1 day out of warranty, not covered.... and 6 months to tighten.
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Old 07-12-2017   #12
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Where else would you have sent it for that sort of work?
The wait time is pretty ridiculous, but I'm not sure there is much choice when it comes to having stuff like that done.
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Old 07-12-2017   #13
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sorry to hear about another Leica NJ horror story.

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Where else would you have sent it for that sort of work?
The wait time is pretty ridiculous, but I'm not sure there is much choice when it comes to having stuff like that done.
that's what scares me from getting another Leica to be honest.
as much as I want to get another digital M, the horror stories that I've experienced from Leica NJ and from others is preventing me from getting another digital Leica.
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Old 07-12-2017   #14
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I would send any camera directly to Germany, through an intermediary if necessary. Leica NJ has proven impossible to deal with. They do not reply to emails, they do not reply to voicemail, unless you are lucky and someone actually answers their phone when you call you are SOL. Even then, I often got little to no explanation for how it could take so long.

I wrote to the contact in Wetzlar to complain about the process/timeline in NJ but have not heard back yet. Never any mention of a refund or partial one for being without the camera for about eight months. I may email to ask...
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Last edited by sepiareverb : 07-16-2017 at 10:29. Reason: Wetzlar, not Solms.
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Old 07-12-2017   #15
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Leica has spent money on a fancy HQ but hasn't put any effort into updating their poor service turnaround. For a premium brand this is unfortunate.
It's because the majority of Leica owners are trinket collectors. Impressed by a fancy HQ. Not knowing if their cameras work or not, because they hardly use them.
Enthusiasts like us (and heaven forbid pros), that use Leicas to take pictures are a royal pain in the a$$ to Leica. Complaining about expensive cameras that do not work properly..
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Old 07-12-2017   #16
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I would send any camera directly to Germany, through an intermediary if necessary. Leica NJ has proven impossible to deal with. They do not reply to emails, they do not reply to voicemail, unless you are lucky and someone actually answers their phone when you call you are SOL. Even then, I often got little to no explanation for how it could take so long.

I wrote to the contact in Solms to complain about the process/timeline in NJ but have not heard back yet. Never any mention of a refund or partial one for being without the camera for about eight months. I may email to ask...
You may simply have been unlucky with your contacting Leica NJ. I call them easily, and they respond quickly. Maybe they respond well on some days but then they don't on other days.
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Old 07-12-2017   #17
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I just got my Monochrom 246 and 50/1.4 Summilux back from them (sent them in together to be 'mated' to one another and to have everything checked out). Took about 3 weeks total. Warranty covered the 246, and I paid for service on the Summilux. I had no issues with their service (and generally have never had any issues with their service over the years), but I may possibly be more the exception than the rule.
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Old 07-12-2017   #18
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There seems to be, at best, a lack of consistency in the service Leica NJ provides.
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Old 07-12-2017   #19
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Quote:
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Sent a Leica Q to NJ for service, they quoted 3 weeks, it took 7 months. .....
In today's day and age, that's just pathetic.
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Old 07-12-2017   #20
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There seems to be, at best, a lack of consistency in the service Leica NJ provides.
One of our members recently reported that when they sent their M9 to Leica NJ for a sensor clean & check, Leica sent them a mailing label; pre-paid, I believe (not sure). So. I phoned to inquire about sending my M9. I was told they will only send the label if the Leica is under warranty. And I had to call twice, just to get that. On the first day, I phoned around what must have been their lunch time. They didn't respond to my voice mail message. So I called back the next day, and was told to just send it in, but no mailing label and nothing pre-paid.

So is that an example of inconsistency? Or just the fair policy?
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Old 07-12-2017   #21
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I have an official Leica Customer Service brochure in front of me right now, and amongst their services is listed: "Collecting your Leica product" However, it is a German brochure...

Maybe you should check the USA one.
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Old 07-12-2017   #22
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In today's day and age, that's just pathetic.
In another day and age as well...
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Old 07-12-2017   #23
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For goodness sake, it's going to take 24 weeks for a sensor replacement, how many extra weeks do you want to wait around for a prepaid shipping label? Oh, I forgot, you have a spare Leica or three so you are not really bothered by the delay.
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Old 07-12-2017   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob-F View Post
One of our members recently reported that when they sent their M9 to Leica NJ for a sensor clean & check, Leica sent them a mailing label; pre-paid, I believe (not sure). So. I phoned to inquire about sending my M9. I was told they will only send the label if the Leica is under warranty.

So is that an example of inconsistency? Or just the fair policy?
You are completely correct in that "one of our members" sent their M9 to Leica for a sensor clean & check and Leica sent a prepaid mailing label. I don't know if you're referring to me or not, but that was precisely my experience. I had called to ask about sending in my M9 to check the sensor, and after specifically asking if they could send a prepaid mailing label, they agreed and within 5 minutes, I received the mailing label attached to an email. To be clear, I mentioned that "a friend of mine" had been sent a mailing label and could they do the same for me.

My M9 was clearly not under warranty and, in fact, I had purchased it used.

It is definitely an example of inconsistency. My thoughts are that it ~may~ depend on who you talk to.
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Old 07-12-2017   #25
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My M 240 started having problems with the metering system. It was still under warranty, so I sent it in with a 35mm Summilux also within the warranty period.

They eventually fixed the camera and maintained the Summilux without charge, but is took several months. During that time, I called to check in on it ant he person that picked up the call said she could not tell me anything about the camera or lens. I tried several times and never found anyone who say when it would be done.

I travel a lot, so I asked for a tracking number when it shipped which I never received. Months after sending it in, is just showed up one day unannounced. If we had been on a trip, I don't know where it would have ended up.

Seems odd for service on a camera that is as expensive as the Leicas are to be so informal and unorganized.

I'll think twice about sending my Leica gear back to NJ.
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I too have had interesting experiences with Leica NJ
Old 07-12-2017   #26
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I too have had interesting experiences with Leica NJ

My M 240 started having problems with the metering system. It was still under warranty, so I sent it in with a 35mm Summilux also within the warranty period.

They eventually fixed the camera and maintained the Summilux without charge, but it took several months. During that time, I called to check in on it ant the person that picked up the call said she could not tell me anything about the camera or lens. I tried several times and never found anyone who say when it would be done.

I travel a lot, so I asked for a tracking number when it shipped which I never received. Months after sending it in, is just showed up one day unannounced. If we had been on a trip, I don't know where it would have ended up.

Seems odd for a service department for cameras that are as expensive as the Leicas are to be so informal and unorganized.

I'll think twice about sending my Leica gear back to NJ.
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Old 07-12-2017   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ornate_wrasse View Post
You are completely correct in that "one of our members" sent their M9 to Leica for a sensor clean & check and Leica sent a prepaid mailing label. I don't know if you're referring to me or not, but that was precisely my experience. I had called to ask about sending in my M9 to check the sensor, and after specifically asking if they could send a prepaid mailing label, they agreed and within 5 minutes, I received the mailing label attached to an email. To be clear, I mentioned that "a friend of mine" had been sent a mailing label and could they do the same for me.

My M9 was clearly not under warranty and, in fact, I had purchased it used.

It is definitely an example of inconsistency. My thoughts are that it ~may~ depend on who you talk to.
I did the same a few days later.
I said "I heard from someone that she was sent a mailing label."

I asked for the mailing label and they said "no problem."
My M9 was not under warranty.
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Old 07-12-2017   #28
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Sorry folks,

I meant to edit this post and it showed up twice.
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Old 07-12-2017   #29
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Anyone have exemplary service to report, or are the above posts typical?
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Old 07-12-2017   #30
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My experience with Leica NJ has been great, though it has just been for sourcing parts.
Calling them directly I was able to get some parts for a custom M I was building.
And recently they have sourced another part for another project.
I found calling them is best, though they were quick with emails as well.
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Old 07-12-2017   #31
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So inconsistency is the name of the game. I get that it is a small operation in NJ, but are they so inundated with voicemails and emails that they can't reply? And from my experience talking to folks there, the techs leave by 4. I guess that's because they have to travel to Germany to pick up parts.

I'd filled out the proper paperwork in September, but it was not till June that someone went to Germany to get the paint.
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Old 07-12-2017   #32
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Quote:
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I did the same a few days later.
I said "I heard from someone that she was sent a mailing label."
Raid,

That's funny Interesting to hear that you ended up saying the same thing that I did.

And, more importantly, it worked to get them to send you the prepaid mailing label!
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Old 07-12-2017   #33
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He was very nice on the phone, and he said not to worry about the mailing label. He tried to convince me that "old M9" cameras did not get faulty sensors, but then I told him that they had replaced the sensor in 2014. He the laughed and told me that in a few minutes he would email me the mailing label.

Thanks.
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Old 07-12-2017   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ornate_wrasse View Post
You are completely correct in that "one of our members" sent their M9 to Leica for a sensor clean & check and Leica sent a prepaid mailing label. I don't know if you're referring to me or not, but that was precisely my experience. I had called to ask about sending in my M9 to check the sensor, and after specifically asking if they could send a prepaid mailing label, they agreed and within 5 minutes, I received the mailing label attached to an email. To be clear, I mentioned that "a friend of mine" had been sent a mailing label and could they do the same for me.

My M9 was clearly not under warranty and, in fact, I had purchased it used.

It is definitely an example of inconsistency. My thoughts are that it ~may~ depend on who you talk to.
Ellen: I couldn't remember who had written this. I probably was thinking of your post.

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I did the same a few days later.
I said "I heard from someone that she was sent a mailing label."

I asked for the mailing label and they said "no problem."
My M9 was not under warranty.
I think I may do the very same thing. But I wonder: will this come with insurance? Can I add insurance to the pre-paid label when I mail it?

And another thing: Think Leica is bad? I've had bad luck with the post office losing my packages. They lost a 15mm CV, with finder and filter, three months ago, and I have yet to collect on it. What if they lose my M9? Or yours?

And one more thing: Does Leica insure the return shipment?
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Old 07-13-2017   #35
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Originally Posted by Rob-F View Post
...I think I may do the very same thing. But I wonder: will this come with insurance? Can I add insurance to the pre-paid label when I mail it?

And another thing: Think Leica is bad? I've had bad luck with the post office losing my packages. They lost a 15mm CV, with finder and filter, three months ago, and I have yet to collect on it. What if they lose my M9? Or yours?

And one more thing: Does Leica insure the return shipment?
When they furnish the label, and when they ship the camera back to you, they are taking responsibility for its safe arrival. Don't worry about the insurance, it's on them. USPS can be difficult too, as they lost our Pentax LX on its way for service. It was a hassle getting partial compensation.
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Old 07-13-2017   #36
sanmich
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Look at the bright side:
You sent a modern camera, you have back a collectible.

Seriously. They are awful. It's not only the delays, the fact that several different people with "customer service" job definitions are not even responding. In my case I had to pay for their "mistakes" since they sent the camera back to me, international, despite my repeated mails asking not too, and to ship to a relative in the US instead. It's just ridiculous that people are paid to do such a lousy job.
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Old 07-13-2017   #37
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I seem to have the impression that paying extra for Priority Express one-day shipping adds an extra level of security. Perhaps because of fewer handling steps and tighter tracking. Also, I wonder if adding registered mail to the above would add still another level of security. Can you do that? Would it help? After a recent experience, my trust for USPS is at a low point.
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Old 07-13-2017   #38
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I got today an email from Leica NJ about my M9.
Sensor cover glass: coating is separating.
Adjust range finder
CLA

Does this mean the sensor is damaged or is it only the cover glass for the sensor that needs replacing?


Cost=$0
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Old 07-13-2017   #39
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Raid, I think it means you get a new sensor. I believe that separation of the cover glass is what goes wrong.
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Old 07-13-2017   #40
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Leica will replace the complete sensor/motherboard unit.
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